The Komi Supreme Court declared illegal the decision of the district court to recover compensation from the teacher of the Skorodum school of the Ust-Kulomsky district Tatyana Chistaleva. She had to pay 5 thousand rubles to Oksana Lebedeva, head of the local education department, for drawing a caricature of her. Chistaleva told «7х7» about this on March 4.
In August 2020, the teacher found out that schools are introducing compulsory learning of a second foreign language at the expense of other subjects. She published a post with a caricature of the official on her page in the social network "VKontakte". Through the picture, Tatyana Chistaleva expressed her disagreement with the reduction of the hours of teaching the Komi language. In October, Oksana Lebedeva filed a lawsuit for the protection of honor and dignity, demanding to recover 50 thousand rubles from the teacher, but only sued 5 thousand rubles.
Chistaleva appealed the decision at the Komi Supreme Court. Her interests were represented by lawyer Viktor Vorobyov and City Council deputy Nikolai Udoratin. The appeal states that officials fall under the broader limits of acceptable criticism and should be tolerant of it.
According to the authors of the complaint, the caricature didn't contain an insult to Lebedeva, because no negative characterization was attributed to her, and it wasn't expressed in an indecent form. Representatives of Chistaleva stressed that her publication is a “part of public discussion” and “assessment” of the competition between two options for school education: with studying the Komi language or a foreign one.
The head of the local education department and her representative didn’t attend the session of the Supreme Court. According to Chistaleva, regional officials expected the decision to remain unchanged.
— The decision showed that protecting the native language, including doing it through caricatures, is legal and fair. The situation will further draw attention to the problem. District officials do not hear the residents of villages, who think not about a career, in contrast to them. People want things to be done for the good and not to harm the native Komi language. As far as I know, so far in our Skorodum school and Pomozdino, the Komi language hours have been preserved in the same amount, ” — Chistaleva told «7х7».
The teacher noted that she will continue to seek compensation for moral damage and the recognition that it is illegal to bring her to prosecution. She will also complain about Oksana Lebedeva to the administration of the Ust-Kulomsky district and the Ministry of Education of the Komi Republic, since, according to her, in the court of first instance, the interests of the official were represented by her subordinate, and the prosecutor's office found violations in this.
In October 2017, the then Minister of Education, Science and Youth Policy of Komi, Natalya Mikhalchenkova, signed an order according to which parents or official representatives of schoolchildren could choose the compulsory language for study - Komi or Russian. A month later, the participants of the Komi people conference proposed to fire the official. The current head of the republic, Sergei Gaplikov, suspended the order on November 14. Since August 2018, the study of national languages in Russia is voluntary, and parents can choose it at their discretion.